Welcome to our best mattress buying guide. Buying a new mattress is expensive and daunting, but when you consider you spend almost 16 years of your life in bed this is not the time to compromise. We’ve spoken to the experts and have come up with all the answers so you can find the perfect mattress for your comfort and needs.
All the best mattresses you can buy right now in one place. Click the Read More button for our buying guide or scroll down for a list of all the best mattresses.
Mattress facts to consider before you buy:
*A bed should be 10cm longer than the tallest person who will be sleeping in it, so a king-size is the minimum for someone 6ft or more, and wide enough to allow both partners to lie side by side, hands behind heads, without elbows touching.
*To check if a mattress is supporting you properly, lie down and slide a hand beneath the small of your back. If your hand fits easily, it’s too soft; not at all, and it’s too firm.
*The base will affect how the mattress feels. A sprung divan will make a mattress seem softer than a solid divan or slatted base.
*Sprung and pocket mattresses are padded with fillings including cotton, Lambswool and mohair. Luxurious options, such as cashmere and silk, will mean the finished product is more expensive.
We’ve asked the experts the questions, to give you the best answers.
How often should you replace your mattress?
Angela Moran, Product Strategy Director at Silentnight Group tells us, ‘Your mattress should last 8-10 years, so invest wisely. Replacing every 8 years is sensible; thinking about its heavy daily usage, even if your old mattress still feels comfortable and supportive, it will have softened over time. It will also be hygienically ready for renewal after 8 years.’
How do you sleep?
When choosing a mattress comfort and support is key. We spoke to Myriam Ruffo, Head of Bedrooms and Bathrooms at IKEA UK, who gave us the 101 on the best mattresses for the three key sleeping positions:
back, front and side.
“There are lots of things to consider and you can usually get a good feeling as to whether the mattress will provide a good night’s sleep while testing it in the store.
“Be sure to test the firmness and take in to consideration your sleeping style to ensure you choose a firmness that offers you the correct back support. Your mattress plays a huge part in your health and wellbeing considering you spend around eight hours every night sleeping on it.”
Sleeping on your back – medium firm
Back sleepers require support for the lower back, otherwise too much pressure can be put on this area which can result in pain. A medium-firm mattress is the best mattress in this scenario as it offers the support of a firm mattress but also has a softer, more comfortable feel.
Sleeping on your front – firm
This sleeping style requires a mattress that can keep the body afloat, rather than sinking into the mattress as this can cause lower back pain. A firm mattress is the best mattress here as it will keep the body in a position where spine alignment is at a minimal.
Sleeping on your side – soft
Sleeping on your side allows your spine to relax and therefore takes pressure off of the back, so it’s one of the healthiest ways to sleep. Side sleepers require a softer medium-firm mattress so the spine can rest in its most natural position, allowing the mattress to mould itself to the curves of the body.
Buying a mattress ultimately comes down to personal preference, because no two people have the same needs and requirements, some retailers now offer a free trial period, meaning if you don’t get on with the one you’ve chosen you can return it free of charge. Check this option is available before purchase.
Pocket sprung mattresses have been the most popular for many years now, however there are plenty of youthful contenders in the shape of foam and latex. The modern day mattress arrives in a box, some even overnight! Read the facts below to determine which style would suit your needs.
What is an Open-sprung mattress?
An open-sprung mattress contains one long piece of wire coiled into springs. It also has a
border rod of wire that gives the mattress a firm edge and helps retain its shape.
Pros: Great value for money, they are lighter than other mattresses, so easier to turn, and can be turned in all directions, which extends the life of the mattress.
Cons: As the springs are all connected, open-sprung mattresses are less responsive to your body and overall less supportive.
Best for: Occasional use, and ideal for children’s bedrooms, as they’re less expensive, so can be upgraded as they grow.
What is a Pocket-sprung mattress?
Pocket-sprung mattresses are more luxurious, with up to 3,000 individual small springs housed in separate fabric pockets. They tend to have hand-stitched sides for strong, stable edges. Founder of Button & Sprung, Adam Black tells us,’ We believe that pocket springs will deliver maximum comfort, and our mattresses feature our patented IQ Spring technology. Each spring is individually housed within their own pocket so work independently from each other. This unique design responds to weight so all of your body is supported, and even if your partner is moving around they won’t disturb your sleep.”
Pros: The springs move independently to support your body. They come in a choice of tensions –
soft, medium or firm, meaning good support whatever your weight.
Cons: Because of the density of the fillings, pocket-sprung mattresses can be heavy
to turn. They’re usually filled with natural materials, like Lambswool, which can exacerbate allergies.
Best for: The separate springs make them ideal for two people of different weights. Also available to buy with two sides of a different firmness.
What is a Memory foam mattress?
Memory foam is a mouldable material. The most well known type of memory foam mattress is Tempur, a material originally developed by NASA. It’s composed of billions of viscoelastic cells, which respond to your temperature and weight.
Pros It feels the same on any bed base. When warm, it moulds to the body and absorbs weight, essentially relieving pressure from the joints.
Cons As the foam moulds to the body it can feel close and quite claustrophobic. This same sinking feeling means you can become quite warm.
Best for: Supportive, good for allergy sufferers and helpful for people with joint pain or a bad back. It
has a unique feel, so you’ll love it or hate it. Either way if you’ve never slept on one before it might take a few nights to get used to.
What is a Latex mattress?
Natural latex is white liquid tapped from the trunks of rubber trees. This is blended
with synthetic latex and turned into latex foam, using the Talalay process, which produces the finest polymer.
Pros: Latex is breathable, so you won’t overheat. Exceptionally durable, its resilient feel also makes it good for those who prefer a firmer bed.
Cons: Some think these mattresses have a rather solid feel, and they can be heavy and difficult to move. Cheaper versions can develop lumps and body impressions.
Best for: Those with allergies (except Latex) and asthma, as latex doesn’t harbour dust mites. It also has natural antimicrobial properties.
What is a Sprung memory foam mattress?
A sprung memory foam mattress is a hybrid of a pocket-sprung base and a memory-foam top layer.
Pros: A compromise between the responsiveness of a pocket-sprung mattress and the support of memory foam. There’s also no need to turn the mattress.
Cons: The ‘sinking’ sensation can put people off, which also means it isn’t recommended for young children, in case they roll onto their face and breathing is inhibited.
Best for: People who still want the feel of a pocket-sprung mattress, without the natural fillings that may irritate allergies.
Now you know what you’re looking for take a look at our pick of the of the best mattresses and banish those bad nights forever; we’ve hunted down the top mattresses on the market – across a variety of budgets and styles, so there’s a perfect choice for everyone.
Once you’ve made the investment try to prolong the life of your mattress with these handy cleaning tips. It’s not pretty but mattresses tend to harbour dust, germs and mites (yuck!), so follow these steps for a super-hygienic bed…
How to clean your mattress
1 Root out the dust
Mattresses are breeding grounds for dust mites, as they live off dead skin cells and thrive in humid environments. Vacuuming or steam-cleaning your mattress will remove or kill the majority of mites and their allergens, but check with your mattress’ manufacturer first as it could damage the filling and/or springs.
2 Let it breathe
Airing your mattress every day will stop stale sweat smells permeating the surface, saving you the hassle of cleaning it later. Get into the habit of airing your bed every morning by drawing the covers off and letting your mattress (and sheets) breathe for 20 minutes before making it.
3 Use natural cleaners wherever possible
Natural cleaners, such as bicarbonate of soda and even vodka, are less harsh than chemical solutions, so try these before using the harder stuff. Use vodka neat
on stains or mix it with water in a spray bottle and spritz your mattress to remove odours. Bicarb is a handy deodoriser – sprinkle it on your mattress, leave for an hour, then vacuum it (and the smells) off.
4 Remove stains
Ideally, you want to tackle new stains on your mattress as soon as they happen. Soak up the spill with a dry absorbent cloth, dab it away with cold water and a sponge. Don’t use hot water as it will only set the stain. Existing spots will be harder to shift – use a stain remover on more stubborn marks.
5 Protect with a cover
A few pre-emptive measures will ensure your mattress looks (and smells) good for longer. Preserve the surface with a mattress protector – go for a design with quilting and extra padding for comfort, or wicking and waterproof top layers for practicality. Look out for a machine-washable option, so you can clean it with your bed linen.
The Simba Hybrid is one of the new breed of mattresses that pops out of a handy-sized box! It’s the way the world of mattress shopping is going, it’s convenient and super easy – order today, get it tomorrow and trial it for 100 nights! Once unleashed from it’s box the mattress takes 3-5 to fully take shape, ready for a nights sleep.
Simba Sleep claims their high-tech mattress satisfies the sleep needs of 95% of the population. With odds that high, we asked what makes it so ground breaking? James Cox – CEO and Co-Founder of Simba Sleep told us, ‘It’s the first dual spring and memory foam mattress of its kind in the UK market. Its cutting-edge technology offers the comfort of five layers of memory foam with the support of 2,500 patented conical pocket springs. The patented springs make them unique, moving horizontally & vertically to fit the shape of your body and give you the best sleep. The Simbatex layer provides cool, gentle support, whilst the Visco memory foam moulds expertly to your body shape. It’s like a mattress tailor made for you.’
4.78/5 Stars awarded from 2678 reviews.
Eve is another online only brand that has developed one mattress to fit all, with an ethos of keeping things simple, beautiful and affordable for every budget. The Eve mattress comprises of three stacked layers; a high density base layer, a breathable cooling layer and a new generation memory foam layer to top it off. What’s different from the standard pure base foam is that Eve use an ultra resilient Reflex base foam that reacts to your movements, making the whole mattress reactive to your needs.
The memory layer is unlike other leading memory foam mattresses where you get that sinking feeling, quite literally; the high point elasticity has been developed to provide a responsive soft cushioning without cocooning the contours of the body. It’s not easy to say one model fits all but Eve is confident enough with the results to offer 100 night moneys happy home trial or your money back; a great factor to take into consideration for your purchase. Suitable for divan and slatted beds. Can be delivered the next day, they also offer free delivery as an added bonus.
4.66/5 Stars awarded from 3413 reviews.
This is Ikea’s best selling mattress by a mile! There’s no denying its unbelievable value, ideal for those on a budget such as first time buyers or those not wanting to invest too much, i.e renters. One of the team here at Ideal Home was so impressed after testing it – they now own this very mattress and describes it as the perfect balance between firm support and comfort. You get support in all the right places thanks to the individually wrapped pocket springs that work independently and closely to follow the contours of your body. Price shown is for a Single mattress.
Hovag pocket sprung mattress
As the title would suggest this model is, in Loaf’s opinion, the perfect mattress. It’s the best-selling mattress from the existing collection. Described as a comfy cloud-machine, this ideal no-turn design features 1200 individual pocket springs (in a double) to ensure a supported nights sleep. This design offers the best of both worlds – firm support from the base of pocket springs with a padded squidgy layer on top for extra comfort.
Each one is handmade in Wiltshire by Louis and his skilled team. The tensions are set on the premise of the mattress living on a sprung slat bed, so it will feel a little firmer on a solid divan base – worth taking into consideration when buying. As this is a standard mattress it would be a good buy for most body types, with a good price point – the one shown is for a double. All of Loaf’s mattresses have a five year guarantee. You can be assured by the free 14 day returns policy, as long as you’ve kept the protective wrapping on. Price shown is for a double mattress.
ViSpring are the Rolls-Royce of the mattress world renowned for heritage and handmade excellence, it’s with thanks to this that it is a favoured brand for hotels. Of course this degree of excellence does come at a cost, however when you break down the cost over the lifetime of the mattress (cost per wear if you will) its worth every penny. This luxurious mattress promotes a comfortable night’s sleep, thanks to its many honeycomb nested springs overlaid with the finest in British fleece wool and hypoallergenic Devonshire wool. This hand-tufted mattress features three rows of hand-side stitching with flax twine and 1116 vanadium steel pocket springs. Soft support. Price shown is for a double.
ViSpring Devonshire Double Mattress
This design is ideal for light sleepers who are easily disturbed by a partner’s movements thanks to the Miracoil spring system. This design boasts continuous open-spring technology, providing a steady coil shape and a more acute response to pressure; therefore diminishing the issue of the dreaded partner roll-together. This divan set combines the comfort of a mattress with the support of a divan base, with a knitted quilt top to add extra comfort and a more luxurious feel. This model is exclusive to John Lewis. Price shown is for a double mattress.
Silentnight Comfort Miracoil Double Mattress and Divan Set
The Coen Coolmax pocket sprung mattress is Habitat’s best-selling model. Offering a medium level of comfort and support it’s easy to see why it’s a best-seller, ideal for those looking for an inexpensive but highly comfy standard mattress. The mattress features 1000 individual pocket springs, each spring individually wrapped in fabric, to offer better contouring support and reduce the awareness of a partner’s movement.
The mattress is covered in a generous 6cm layer of highly resilient foam for additional support and to ensure complete comfort. The unique Coolmax cover helps to regulate body temperature, with the added bonus of being removable so it can be professionally dry cleaned to ensure its hygienic and its properties continue to last. Price shown is for a double. Mattress is suitable for both divan and wooden frames. Price shown is for a double mattress.
The Drysdale pocket sprung mattress is the best selling model from sleep experts Button & Sprung. Founder Adam Black tells us this is the best selling model thanks to the unique IQ Spring system combined with six-layers of all-natural filling – with cotton, that’s strong, breathable and temperature-responsive. The IQ system is something the Button & Sprung team developed exclusively; providing an advanced level of comfort by offering ‘progressive support’. In other words, the more you push it the more it pushes back – so everyone regardless of their weight, gets exactly the right amount of support.
4.93/5 Stars awarded from 259 shopper reviews.
Button & Sprung
Aptly named the cloud, the nature of this mouldable material cocoons your body as it reacts to your body heat, making it ideal for relieving pressure points, such as hips and spine. The Tempur design model provides a top comfort layer made of a specially developed ‘Extra Soft’ material for a feeling of instant relaxation. This unique fabric is designed to regulate temperature and humidity.
Working in perfect harmony with the lower support layers, once you settle your body weight is redistributed reducing pressure while you sleep. In addition to the comfort factor, this mattress also features a removable and washable cover, which is ideal if you are an allergy sufferer. Price shown is for a double mattress. This mattress scores 4.3 out of 5 from shopper reviews. Price shown is for a single mattress.
Tempur Cloud 21 Medium Double Mattress
The Quick Delivery Kipling mattress is made from natural and sustainable materials, including recycled cotton and blended wool. With 1000 ReActive pocket springs, this mattress responds to your body’s every movement, providing a blissfully supportive and deeply luxurious level of comfort. Price shown is for a single mattress
Feather and Black
Feel the benefits of improved sleep with the Rest Assured Rufford 2000 Pocket Memory Mattress. This handmade pocket-sprung mattress is designed to provide individual support for every inch of your back. With a body-moulding memory foam layer for pressure relief and soothing comfort. Price shown is for a double mattress.